Pre-Christmas baking: How to bake a Krampus

A few days ago my boyfriend came across a recipe for a brioche Krampus on an Austrian newspaper website. In the article there was also a link to a video on how to make them. Watching the video brought back a lot of childhood memories I have not thought about in a while. Since I live in London it seems I had completely forgotten about these traditional baked goods.

So I thought I would share the recipe by Christian Ofner for a yeast-dough Krampus with you and include a watercolour illustration of my sweet baked devil. Maybe you would like to bake your own this weekend. I believe I should explain what a Krampus actually is, just in case.

In many European countries St. Nicholas’ day is celebrated on the 6th December. St. Nicholas rewards well behaved children with little gifts. Traditionally the presents are walnuts, hazelnuts, oranges, mandarins and sometimes chocolate. Krampus is his horned companion (half demon, half goat) who visits the naughty children on the 5th December and “punishes” them. This folklore figure has a long history and is believed to go back to pre-Christian Alpine traditions. Regardless of what we believe in, this baked Krampus will delight your taste buds and made of dough he is not even that frightening. This is what the little devil should look like.



500g plain pastry flour

7g salt

90g sugar

90g butter

2 yolks (medium size)

14g dried yeast

200ml lukewarm milk

1 egg (for coating the pastry)

Raisins for decoration

  • Put all ingredients together in one bowl, knead them into a smooth ball of dough
  • Cover the bowl with cling film/clean kitchen cloth (cotton) and leave to rest in a warm spot for 20 minutes
  •  Put the dough on your floured, clean kitchen counter and divide in several units each weighing 120g
  • Shape all unites into smooth balls, put on a baking sheet, cover with clean kitchen cloth and leave to rest in a warm spot for another 15 minutes for the dough to rise
  • Knead each dough ball thoroughly and shape into long dough rolls
  • Pinch the dough roll a little bit a third in to create some sort of neck
  • Flatten each unit with your hands, take a dough scraper and split the first half of the dough above the neck into two pieces to create the horn
  • Split the lower half of body to create the legs
  • For the arms make a little cuts on the each side of the torso
  • Put all your Krampus bodies on a baking sheet, leaving quite some space between them as the dough will rise in the oven, moisten a little bit with water, cover with your kitchen cloth and leave to rise for another 40 minutes
  • In the meantime pre-heat your oven to 190°C
  • Beat one whole egg and brush each Krampus evenly with it
  • To create eyes, use raisins and push deeply into the dough
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until brown
  • Take out of oven once brown and leave to cool before eating

They are a truly delicious treat and fun to make with your family or friends. Please find the link to the video here. It is in German but in combination with my instructions the video demonstrates in a few easy steps how to shape the dough units into Krampusse.